Mergenthaler Linotype Company. Specimen Book of Linotype Faces. Brooklyn, NY: Mergenthaler Linotype Company, n.d. [by 1939]
This was the last large specimen book produced by the Mergenthaler Linotype Company, and arguably the most important one they ever produced. Along with the 1923 American Type Founders Specimen Book and Catalogue and McGrew's American Metal Typefaces of the Twentieth Century it is one of the three volumes which must be on every typographer's desk.
It is known colloquially as "Big Red" because of the color of its binding and its great size (over 1200 pages). It is undated, but as the first Supplement to it appeared in July 1939, it must have been published before then.
Aside: The training given to graphic designers in the 21st century leaves them ill equipped to understand real type. If you are confused by things such as a single font which is "Russian Condensed No. 3 with Antique Black No. 3", or "one point leaded" for type which is clearly larger than 1 point, then you might wish to read the Notebook on Reading Metal Type Specimens. Without an understanding of what you are seeing, these are just pretty picture books.
Apology: Only a few sections of this reprint are done so far. I plan to scan the whole thing, but it is, after all, a very big book. If you have need of some particular section, please let me know and I may be able to do it sooner.
Front Cover & Flyleaf
Spine (tattered), front cover, front pastedown, front flyleaf.
43 Megabyte PDF.
I - X: Front Matter
Bastard Title, Title Page, Publication Page, "Linotype Typography" [a foreword], [brief] Table of Contents, two-page panorama of the Linotype works.
100 Megabyte PDF.
XI - XXIV: General Information
Instructions for ordering matrices. The Point System (incl. Didot and Mediaan). Figures. Leaders. Matrix Bridges (Models 25,26; 29, 30). Key to Matrix Terms. Matrix Tooth Combinations. Tooth Combination Charts. The All-Purpose Linotype [A-P-L]. A-P-L Matrix Font Schemes. "Before Using New Fonts of Matrices in Linotypes."
137 Megabyte PDF.
XXV - XXVI: Alphabetical Index
(This is a duplicate of the Alphabetical Index on pp. 1201-1202 .)
20 Megabyte PDF.
XXVII - XXX: Border Matrix Index
(This is a duplicate of the Border Matrix Index on pp. 1203-1206. )
38 Megabyte PDF.
XXX - XXXIII: Matrix Slide Index
"Matrix Slide" = "Border Slide." The start of this Index on p. XXX overlaps the end of the previous index, also on p. XXX, so that page is repeated here.
(This is a duplicate of the Matrix Slide Index on pp. 1206-1209. )
39 Megabyte PDF.
XXXIV - XXXVIII: Triangle Number Index
(This is a duplicate of the Triangle Number Index on pp. 1210-1214. )
51 Megabyte PDF.
113-120: Caslon No. 137
Linotype Caslon No. 137.
59 Megabyte PDF.
"A complete showing of the Linotype Cloister Family comprising Cloister with Italic and Small Caps, Cloister Wide with Cloister Bold, and Cloister Bold with Italic..." For both the Linotype and the A-P-L.
The icon at left links to a single PDF of the entire section (pp. 263-300b). It is rather large, at 291 Megabytes. Here is the same material divided into two files (pp. 263-282 and pp. 283-301b): linotype-faces-c2-cloister-0263-0282-0600rgbjpg.pdf and linotype-faces-c2-cloister-0283-0300b-0600rgbjpg.pdf
541-548: Linotype Janson
"Linotype Janson". Shown in 8 to 14 point.
110 Megabyte PDF.
"Linotype Memphis in Four Useful Weights: Light, Medium, Bold, Extra Bold."
The icon at left links to a single PDF of the entire section (pp. 573-624b). By 2014 standards, it is quite large for a PDF served over the web (440 Megabytes). Here is the same material divided into two files (pp. 573-603 and 604-624b): linotype-faces-c2-memphis-0573-0603-0600rgbjpg.pdf and linotype-faces-c2-memphis-0604-0624b-0600rgbjpg.pdf.
806i-806p: Self-Spacing Faces
"Linotype Self Spacing Faces": No. 17 with Condensed Title No. 5, Tariff Typewriter, Ionic No. 4 with Antique No. 8 Self Spacing, Ionic No. 4 with Antique No. 8.
These are point-set types (unlike the "Self-Spacing" type of Linn Boyd Benton, which were unit-set). For a discussion of these concepts, see Point-Set Type in the Noncasting Type Composing Machinery set of Notebooks.
79 Megabyte PDF.
807-810: Typewriter Faces
"Typewriter Faces": Remington, Underwood (suitable for printing through ribbon or silk for simulated typed letters). See also Tariff Typewriter in "Self Spacing Faces," above.
41 Megabyte PDF.
811-818: Vulcan Bold
76 Megabyte PDF.
819-830: Greek Faces
Porson Greek, Greek Metrolite, Greek No. 1, Greek No. 2, Greek No. 3, Greek Elzevir, Greek Bold Face No. 1. Greek keyboard layouts.
Also one-line showings of Greek display faces: Greek Royal Gothic, Greek Gothic No. 3 Greek Gothic No. 29, Greek Gothic No. 29A, Greek Gothic Condensed No. 1, Greek Gothic Condensed No. 2 Greek Bold Face No. 1, Greek Gothic No. 14, Greek Erbar Light Condensed, Greek Cheltenham Condensed, Greek Cheltenham Bold Condensed, Greek Cloister Bold, Greek Caption.
114 Megabyte PDF.
831-838: "German" Nos. 3 & 4; Bold Nos. 2 & 4
German No. 3 with [German] Bold Face No. 2. German No. 4 with [German] Bold Face No. 4.
79 Megabypte PDF.
"Russian Faces for Text and Display: Linotype and A-P-L."
Russian Condensed No. 2 with [Russian] Italic. Russian No. 1 with [Russian] Italic. Russian No. 3 Light with [Russian No. 3] Bold. Russian No. 8 with [Russian] Italic. Russian No. 11 with [Russian] Italic. Russian No. 11 with [Russian] Antique Black No. 2. Russian Condensed No. 2 with [Russian] Antique Black No. 2. Russian Condensed No. 2 with [Russian] Antique Black No. 3. Russian Old Style with [Russian] Antique No. 1. Russian Antique Black Condensed [one-letter]. Russian Antique Black Condensed No. 2 [one-letter]. Russian Antique Black No. 12 [one-letter]. Russian Antique No. 14 [one-letter]. Russian Caption [one-letter]. A-P-L Russian Poster Bodoni. A-P-L Russian Caslon Old Face. A-P-L Russian Caslon No. 3. A-P-L Russian Caslon No. 3 Italic. A-P-L Russian Caslon Bold Condensed. A-P-L Russian Metroblack No. 2. A-P-L Russian Metrolight No. 2. A-P-L Russian Metromedium No. 2. A-P-L Russian Cheltenham Bold. A-P-L Russian Cheltenham Bold Italic. A-P-L Russian Cheltenham Bold Condensed. A-P-L Russian Cheltenham Bold Condensed Italic. Keyboard diagram.
There is no consideration here for the use of Cyrillic in other languages.
855-874: Hebrew Faces
Hebrew. Hebrew Light. Hebrew Bold. Hebrew Condensed. Display Figures for Hebrew Condensed. Hebrew Extra Condensed. Hebrew No. 2. Hebrew No. 2 Bold. Hebrew No. 3. Hebrew No. 3 Italic. Font scheme considerations and keyboard layout.
Special galley equipment was available for right-to-left composition, but it is not discussed in this specimen.
183 Megabyte PDF. There is a tear on pp. 869-870 which affects the showings of 12 pt Hebreww w/ Hebrew Light, 12 pt Hebrew Condensed, and 16 pt Hebrew Condensed.
875-882: "Oriental" Faces
"Linotype Oriental Faces." (Arabic, [but not Hebrew], Armenian, Syriac, Bengali, Gujarati, Tamil, Devanagari.)
Arabic Bold. Arabic Old Style. Armenian No. 1 with [Armenian] No. 2. Armenian Gothic No. 13. Armenian Gothic Condensed No. 2. Armenian Title No. 1. [Syriac] Estrangela. [Syriac] Nestorian. [Syriac] Jacobite. Bengali Light. Bengali Bold. Bengali No. 2. Bengali Bold Face No. 2. Gujarati. Tamil Light. Tamil Bold. Devanagari Light. Devanagari Bold.
71 Megabyte PDF.
883-886: Int'l Phonetic Alphabet
"A Phonetic Alphabet Based Upon the Alphabet of the International Phonetic Association."
37 Megabyte PDF.
887-891b: Universal Special Characters
Arrows. Brackets. Braces. Astronomical. Chemical Checkers [game]. Commercial. Ecclesiastical. Fraternal. Mathematical. Mathematical No. 2. Election. Fists ["pointing hands"]. Medical. Monetary. Musical. Ornaments (Dots and Squares). Time Table and Tariff. Press Syndicate. Miscellaneous. Paragraph Marks. Playing Card. See also "Border Matrices & Decorative Miscellaneous Characters," below.
73 Megabyte PDF.
"Accented Characters." These are representative showings of accents which would "be supplied with any face at the regular price." Also shown arranged by language.
"Piece Accents." These "accents are cast on an independent slug which is palced immediately above the main slug requiring accented characters."
19 Megabyte PDF.
892b: Superior and Inferior Characters
10 Megabyte PDF.
893-900: Ruled Forms and Tabular Work
"Ruled Forms and Tabular Work on the Linotype."
Ruled Form Matrices. Overline Figures. Vertical Leaders. Vertical Slug Matrices
77 Megabyte PDF.
Regular. Universal. Thin. Newspaper. Newspaper Radial. Leader Aligning Dashes. Jobbing. Universal Dot. Universal Hyphen.
41 Megabyte PDF.
"Linotype Figures": One-Letter Roman, One-Letter Italic, Two-Letter Roman with Italic, Two-Letter Roman with Bold, One-Letter Display Roman, One-Letter Display Italic, Regular Advertising Figures (Roman and Italic), Special Advertising Figures, Superior Figures (One-Letter Display), Superior Figures (Regular Advertising Figures), Decimal Figures, Small Cap Figures, Cancelled Figures, Vertical Slug Figures.
See also Overline Figures in "Ruled Forms and Tabular Work," above (p. 895), superior and inferior figures in "Superior and Inferior Characters," above (p. 892b), and of course Fractions, below.
This section is too large to do as a single PDF, so here it is in three parts:
"Linotype Fractions": One-Letter (4-14pt), Duplex Display (18 & 24 pt), Two-Letter Roman with Bold (4-24pt), One-Letter Display (16-60pt), Regular Advertising Fractions (16-30pt), Special Advertising Fractions (30-48pt), Superior Fractions (One-Letter Display 18-36pt), Superior Fractions (Regular Advertising Figures 18 & 24pt), Vertical Slug Fractions, Piece Fractions, Fractions for Lining Faces.
This section is too large to do as a single PDF, so here it is in four parts:
1001-1006: Food Store Typography
"Linotype Aids for Setting Retail Price Display and Food Store Typography."
Food Store Logotypes. Gothic No. 16. Metroblack No. 2. Gothic No. 13. Pabst Extra Bold Condensed. Vertical Gothic. Name Plate Logotypes.
53 Megabyte PDF.
1011-1066: Newspaper Faces
"Newspaper Body Faces"
Also pp. 1063-1065 "Linotype Outline Faces." This is titled as a separate section, but is embedded within the "Newspaper Faces" section. It covers DeVinne Outline with Bold Face No. 6 and [DeVinne Outline] Italic, Consensed Outline, and Gothic Condensed Outline.
As a single PDF this section would be too large (625 Megabytes). The icon at left consequently links to nothing. Here, instead, is this section divided into smaller parts:
1067-1080b: Miscellaneous Faces
"Miscellaneous Faces." (Special-purpose faces not provided as complete series.)
Two-Letter Faces: No. 10 w/Gothic No. 4. No. 6 w/Gothic No. 16. No. 18 w/Antique Black No. 1. No. 4 w/Bold Face No. 2 Condensed. No. 2 w/Antique No. 2. No. 10 w/Italic and Small Caps. No. 12 w/Gothic No. 8. No. 8 w/Bold Face No. 2. No. 2 w/Gothic No. 3. Pabst Old Style w/Italic. Classic w/Italic and Small Caps. Classic w/Century Bold. Clearface Bold w/Italic.
Display Faces: Pabst Old Style Condensed. Classic Italic. Antique Condensed. Antique Extra Condensed. Caption. Clearface Bold. Clearface Bold Italic. Caslon No. 4. Condensed Title No. 1. DeVinne Condensed. DeVinne Extra Condensed. Jenson Condensed. Elzevir No. 2. Latin Extra Condensed. Latin Compressed. Latin Condensed. Title No. 1. Title No. 2. Ionic Condensed. Metrolite No. 4 Italic. Metrothin No. 4 Italic.
188 Megabyte PDF.
1081-1086: Decorative Material [Prologue]
In the printed version, this "Decorative Material" section begins here and continues through the end of the Matrix Slides section below (ending on p. 1144).
53 Megabyte PDF.
1087-1118: Border Matrices & Decorative Miscellaneous Characters
Also "Miscellaneous Characters" (pp. 1112 and 1114-1118): Checkers (game), Playing Cards, Fraternal Emblems, Round and Square Dot, Piece Braces, Universal Fists ["pointing hands"], Decorative brackets ["square"], Paragraph Marks, Election and Ballot, Miscellaneous. See also "Universal Special Characters," above.
1119-1144: Matrix Slides [Border Slides]
"Matrix Slides." In my own experience, these seem to be called "Border Slides" in everyday use. But the official Mergenthaler name, "Matrix Slides," is a bit more general and (given their diversity) more accurate.
Plain Rule. Plain Rule with Corners. Parallel Rule. Parallel Rule with Corners. Multiple Rule. Oxford Rule. Oxford Rule with Round and Square Corners. Gray Tone and Shaded Matrix Slides. Geometric Design Matrix Slides. Wave Rule. Reverse Wave Rule. Rugged Rule. Miscellaneous Matrix Slides. Yuletide. Patriotic Design. Tapered Dash. News Dash. Braces. Oxford Rule Ornamental Dashes. Ornamental Dashes. Ornamental Brackets. Cut-Off Rule with Corners. Box Headings. Fac-Simile Signatures. Arrow Matrices. Arrow Matrix Slides.
201 Megabyte PDF.
1145-1162: Duplex Display
"Duplex Display: The Linotype Development that Doubles Magazine Capacity."
This section is particularly interesting because it includes a subsection on "Linotype Standard Alignments" in general which treats the development of the various Mergenthaler lining standards historically (with dates). Also information on the "Relation of Matrices to Molds" for various alignments.
177 Megabyte PDF.
1163-1176: Addenda [Additional Faces]
"Addenda: Additional faces that have been produced since this specimen book has been compiled and printed." (But despite this title it is paginated uniformly with the rest of the specimen book.)
Baskerville with Italic and Small Caps. Bodoni Bold. Century Expanded with Italic. Electra with Italic and Small Caps. Erbar Light Condensed with Bold Condensed. Excelsior with Bold Face No. 2. Garamond Bold No. 3 Italic. Memphis Bold with Italic. Memphis Bold Condensed. Memphis Extra Bold Condensed. Memphis Medium Condensed. Memphis Medium Condensed with Memphis Bold Condensed. Memphis Medium Condensed with Memphis Extra Bold Condensed. Opticon with Bold Face No. 2. Opticon with Italic and Small Caps. Pabst Extra Bold Condensed.For the A-P-L: Bodoni Italic. Bodoni Bold Condensed. Caslon Old Face Italic. Cloister Bold Italic. Condensed Title Gothic. Memphis Extra Bold Condensed. Memphis Medium Condensed.
125 Megabyte PDF.
1177-1188: Keyboard Diagrams
112 Megabyte PDF.
1189-1192: Font Schemes
74 Megabyte PDF.
1193-1200: Copy Fitting
82 Megabyte PDF.
1201-1202: Alphabetical Index
(This is a duplicate of the Alphabetical Index on pp. XXV-XXVI .)
21 Megabyte PDF.
1203-1206: Border Matrix Index
(This is a duplicate of the Border Matrix Index on pp. XXVII-XXX. )
32 Megabyte PDF.
1206-1209: Matrix Slide Index
"Matrix Slide" = "Border Slide." The start of this Index on p. 1206 overlaps the end of the previous index, also on p. 1206, so that page is repeated here.
(This is a duplicate of the Matrix Slide Index on pp. XXX-XXXIII. )
32 Megabyte PDF.
1210-1214: Triangle Number Index
(This is a duplicate of the Triangle Number Index on pp. XXXIV-XXXVIII. )
43 Megabyte PDF.
End Papers and Back Cover
Verso of p. 1215 (blank), back flyleaf, back pastedown, back cover.
48 Megabyte PDF.
Note 1. These scans were done at 600dpi RGB and saved as PNGs. For presentation here I've converted them to 600dpi RGB JPEGs and wrapped up each logical section as a single PDF-format file. Some of these files are quite large, so if your net connection is slow you may be better off downloading them for offline viewing. (In any event, please do download, save, and share these scans. This book is in the public domain - as are these scans of it.)
This work was published in the US without copyright notice at a time when such notice was required to secure copyright. It therefore passed into the public domain upon initial publication. This digital reprint remains in the public domain.
All portions of this document not noted otherwise are Copyright © 2014 by David M. MacMillan and Rollande Krandall.
Circuitous Root is a Registered Trademark of David M. MacMillan and Rollande Krandall.
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons "Attribution - ShareAlike" license. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ for its terms.
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